The vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process is a low-cost, innovative method that is being considered for manufacture of large aircraft-quality components where high mechanical properties and dimensional tolerance are essential. In the present work a rigorous science-based approach is used to study the VARTM processing of high performance complex shape components. A process model, COMPRO, is used to simulate the cure of panels produced by VARTM. It was found that the presence of the distribution media significantly affects the magnitude of the exotherm particularly for thick panels. For C-shaped laminates, the part distortion was a function of fiber volume fraction distribution and was affected by the presence of the distribution media.